One Faithful Heart by: Rachel

Author's Note: Here’s another long, drawn-out author’s note by Rachel. Anyway, this story is a lot like a lot of people’s, but I hope that mine is different enough. I need feedback. I haven’t gotten any for my other one, save four people. Tell me what you think. I want you to tell me if you like it, what you like, if you hated it, and what you hated about it. Critiquing is good, and it helps me write better stories because it lets me know what kinds of things y’all are looking for.

One Faithful Heart

Dawson, Joey, and all of his closest friends had been through so much by the age of 16. Joey and Dawson had had an especially hard time during their adolescence; the death of Joey’s mother, Dawson’s parents’ troubles, and growing up were just some of the things that they had had to overcome. Then, they had acted on their true feelings and moved into the next level of their relationship.

They were on and off for the first six months or so of "couplehood." Then, they were faced with the major tests of their relationship: betrayal and forgiveness.

Dawson had spent the summer before his junior year in Philadelphia, interning at his mother’s station. He had spent the whole time keeping busy, trying not to think of Joey. He had risked their relationship to protect her, but she had been so angry that she hadn’t seen how much it had hurt him to tell her about her father.

She had told him of that summer without him. She had gotten a new job after the Icehouse had burned down. She had spent the whole summer working and thinking -thinking about how she had treated him. Joey had felt so much anger at one moment that she had blamed the one person she cared for most. She had always seemed to push her loved ones away when she felt hurt because of her need to blame someone. During that summer, though, she had realized it and began thinking of how she could get Dawson to forgive her for making him suffer.

The plan took most of their junior year to finally succeed because there had been so many setbacks that she never could have planned for. Eve had been one of them. She had convinced Dawson that her temptress ways were right. But in the end, Joey and Dawson had become Joey and Dawson, the best friends, again.

Slowly but surely, and after much soul-searching, they had decided to become more than just friends again. This time, though, they had concentrated on communication. They had decided that one of the reasons they hadn’t had a stronger relationship was because they hadn’t been communicating. Of course, they had talked about and analyzed everything that was happening, but they had never really spoken about their feeling before. They had expected the other to read his or her mind instead of expressing them out in the open. They had hidden their feelings, keeping emotions secret and hurting their relationship. Communication was the key to them maintaining wonderful relationships in the best friends and couple levels.

They remained together throughout high school, with only a few major arguments. The communication had been one of the main reasons for their benevolence, but another was that they had both grown up a lot. Every experience they had encountered had made them stronger and wiser.

During their senior year, Joey and Dawson had gotten accepted to separate colleges. Dawson had been accepted to NYU to study in its film program while Joey had been accepted to the University of Texas in Austin. She had decided to go there because it was the best school for the field she wanted to go into- sociology. She wanted to become a social worker to help children who were going through the same kinds of traumatic experiences that she had had as a child and adolescent.

Because of the distance between their universities, they had both decided that the other should be allowed to date other people throughout college, and they would follow their emotions whenever they saw each other. They knew that long-distance relationships rarely worked, so they had decided to remain best friends. Each Saturday night, Movie Night, they would go online and IM each other, or they would talk to each other on the telephone instead of going out. Neither of them had seriously dated anyone while they were apart.

Each day that Dawson and Joey were apart, they changed a little more. Dawson developed more of an "edge" in New York, and he discovered that listening to Pacey and Joey’s spars for so many years had given him a knack for writing dry, sarcastic black comedies with a slight romantic context. His films often ran the small festivals’ screens and were often viewed by people with highly eclectic personalities. Dawson had found his popularity as an up and coming independent film writer and maker being more and more recognized. Bigwigs in Hollywood had caught wind of his talent, and he was signed on with Dreamworks and moved to sunny California to work on big productions.

Joey, in Austin, had met many new people in the place she had begun to call home; therefore, she had become more outgoing and social. She had finished her Masters at the age of 23, a young age. She had taken certain night courses and some summer courses one year when Dawson had been working on a film. By the time she was 24, she was working at a children’s center, counseling the at-risk youth of Austin. She was regarded as the coolest "shrink" around. She had often spoken at schools in the area about the death of her mother because of cancer and how her father being in jail had affected her childhood. The youth at the center had really opened up to her during their single and group therapy sessions because they knew that she had experienced some of the things that they were going through. They had known that Joey was the real thing- an example who showed them that they could still succeed at reaching goals even though they were going through bad situations then. Joey had been such an inspiration to those children, and it had showed as her self-confidence began shining through. She was no longer a scared teenager, but an adult who was helping children in bad situations.

After living in Austin- and away from Dawson- for ten years, Joey had moved to Los Angeles to be closer to him. They had always remained wonderful friends who had confided in each other about everything, and when they began spending time together again, they had found true love for the other once again. They began dating when they weren’t swamped down by their jobs- Dawson making movies and Joey counseling the inner-city youth of LA at a center. After taking their time, making sure that what they had was still what was right, Joey had moved out of her apartment in LA into Dawson’s house in the Hollywood Hills, two years later. Their relationship was the subject of much media coverage as Dawson’s fame grew, but they both took things in stride. They knew how much they needed and loved each other, and nothing stood in the way of their happiness.

To be continued…

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